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Thriving Under Pressure In College

Last updated August 24, 2021

It's extremely normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed in college. You’ve made an enormous change in your life and no one has everything figured out from the start. Adjusting to a new environment, pace of learning, and challenging content is DIFFICULT! It's important to identify and accept these stressors, and then we can start to strategize and move forward.

thriving under pressure

First, find ways to cope with any stress you're experiencing

It's impossible to do our best work when we're stressed out every day. Take time to practice self-care:

  • Focus on self-care - getting exercise, sunlight (or just getting outside, even if the weather's bad), social time with a friend or family, and try to consistent, balanced meals. 
  • Check out the mental health resources available to you for free as a college student. We put together a COVID-friendly list of opportunities to receive free therapy, self-care and mental health guides, and de-stressing techniques here

Create routines to help manage homework assignments

  • Try using a planner or calendar to stay organized, like apps MyHomework or Egenda to set alerts and reminders. Staying on top of your work will alleviate the stress that comes from falling behind and feeling overwhelmed by the mountain of work in front of you.
  • Are you on your phone while doing homework or studying? Putting the phone away will limit distractions and even save you time as you get your work done more efficiently.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. As one of Get Schooled's wise college students said, “Not everyone is living on the same page as you are so, don’t feel down and discouraged if others are ahead of you. College isn’t a competition!”

Small changes like these can make a massive impact on your performance. Remember that struggles and successes don’t define you. It’s all about how you react to them that builds your character and makes you uniquely you.

Other things to consider:

  • Don't treat syllabus week like a vacay! This week is learning about what to expect over the quarter and getting organized. Write all of your assignments and due dates into your planner.
  • Join a club or activity to connect with other students on campus.
  • Participate in residence hall activities and events to meet new people who live in your area on campus.
  • If you feel homesick, schedule a weekly call with loved ones to make sure you’re prioritizing time to stay connected to home.
  • If you find yourself struggling academically, visit your campus advising center to see what support is available. Most campuses have free tutoring, study groups, and writing and math resource centers.
  • If you're not feeling like yourself and need someone to talk to, most campuses provide free counseling and support (and here's a list of remote mental health resources that all college students can take advantage of with a .edu email address). Taking care of your mental health is essential! 

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of college, always feel free to text our advisors. Text "Hello" to 33-55-77. We're here to talk, help you through any questions you have or classes you need help with, and set you up for a successful, fulfilling college experience.

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